Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

Follow Us :

How to Practice Self-Care when You’re Recovering from an Addiction


The self-care practices you can introduce to your life to help your mind and body heal and recover.


The process of overcoming addiction and beginning to heal your mind and body is challenging as the focuses in your life begin to change. As you recover from addiction, you may have feelings of guilt as you start to understand your addiction, what caused it, and how it may have affected your loved ones. When these feelings come to the surface, sometimes it can be hard to then focus on caring for and loving yourself as you recover. The important thing to realize throughout recovery, however, is practicing self-care is essential for healing your mind and body as you overcome an addiction.

While self-care may seem easier for others who aren’t overcoming an addiction, learning how to effectively practice self-care will help you recover as you learn to take better care of all areas of your wellbeing.

Why is self-care important when recovering from an addiction?

 Self-care means caring for yourself and all elements of your life including living a healthy lifestyle, setting boundaries for yourself and other people, and becoming aware of your values and priorities. There are six key wellbeing areas that you need to address to effectively practice self-care – emotional, mental, physical, practical, social, and spiritual. Below, we have included below some of the best ways to practice self-care across all wellbeing areas of your life as you recover from addiction.

Emotional wellbeing

 Self-care for your emotional wellbeing involves effectively processing and expressing your feelings. You can do this by speaking with a trusted loved one or health professional, or you can release emotions through an expressive activity such as music, singing, drawing, cooking, writing, or dancing. Remember, it doesn’t matter how you express your feelings, the important thing is that you express your feelings and emotions in a healthy way so you don’t bottle them up resulting in detrimental effects to your mind and body.

 Mental wellbeing

 Self-care for your mental wellbeing means challenging and stimulating your mind. You can challenge and stimulate your mind by having a meaningful conversation with a loved one, or trying a mentally challenging activity like a puzzle, Sudoku exercise, or crossword.

 Physical wellbeing

 Practicing self-care for your physical wellbeing means you are looking at your physical health as a complete picture. Taking care of all elements of your physical health includes getting quality sleep, regularly doing exercise that you enjoy, eating healthy and whole foods, and drinking plenty of water. By taking care of your physical health, you will have more energy to get through your day and also be able to get through challenging situations more effectively as your recovery progresses.

 Practical wellbeing

 Self-care for your practical wellbeing is a little like housekeeping. This is all about taking care of those little tasks that help your life and home to run smoothly. To take care of your practical wellbeing you could tidy your bedroom, put together and buy everything on a healthy grocery list, put together a personal budget, and clean that storage cupboard that has needed organizing for a long time.

While practical wellbeing tasks can often feel like chores, crossing a productive task off your list will help you feel like you’re spending your time well and taking care of all parts of your life to make it run smoothly.

 Social wellbeing

 Your social wellbeing involves maintaining and strengthening the relationships in your life. You could practice self-care for your social wellbeing by spending quality time with people who understand and support you. If you are feeling lonely, try joining a group of like-minded people who could potentially become close friends.

 Spiritual wellbeing

Self-care for your spiritual wellbeing, like the other elements of wellbeing listed here, means different things for different people. Do something that helps you feel connected to yourself and the world to look after your spiritual wellbeing. If you don’t know what that activity is yet, you could try yoga, reading, writing, volunteering, or spending time in nature and see which activity helps you feel most connected to yourself and the world.

Introducing self-care across different aspects of your life will help you nurture your mind, body, and soul as you recover from addiction. While you may not know exactly what activities to practice in each self-care area of your life, the important thing is trying things that will help improve your health as a whole. As you continue learning how to care for your whole self you will also learn how to have healthy relationships with others as you recover.




Share post: